Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

June 21, 2018 Supervisors deny funding request from the YMCA
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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The request from the YMCA of Washington County for a county allocation of either $20,000 or to aid with leveraging a $900,000 Vision/Enhance Iowa grant got a unanimous “no” from the supervisors Tuesday.

The YMCA asked the county for the allocation for leverage for a grant to help fund a $9.2 million new facility. The board was told Vision/Enhance requires applicants to have 65 percent of the amount ($7.9 million) as well as community support from the county and cities it serves. The project received a $3.5 million grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF) last month. It also has $4.4 million in pledged donations.

Deadline to submit the grant request is July 15.

A county-wide referendum for a new Y facility, for which the board had approved a $10,000 allocation, failed in 2016. Subsequently the project was reviewed, revised and is now set for two phases.

The board also was reminded that since 2002, the county has provided a total of $130,000 that has helped win $2,983,000 in Vision/Enhance grants.

However, Tuesday,the board heard from five county residents who opposed funding for the private nonprofit and board members also noted they had heard from a number of others also opposing the allocation.

During the meeting, Y supporters noted that the original $10,000 would meet the Vision/Enhance Iowa requirement.

The opponents cited the setting of a precedence in which any nonprofit could approach the county for funds including schools, churches and other organizations.

While lauding the work of the Y, board members stressed that at this time the county is facing some major expenses in updating E911 equipment and construction of a new communications building, a project that in totality could exceed $10 million.

There is also a possible purchase of the Federation Bank building in Washington for offices and other uses, offered to the county for $1.6 million.

“We have to look at the big picture,” said supervisor Richard Young. “We have a lot of projects, especially the 911 equipment that carries a state mandate to be installed in 2019.”

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